Ataman on Efes’ win over CSKA on TV: ‘I was very relaxed’ / News


Let’s face it, many in the EuroLeague community probably never thought that LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne without Ellie Okobo could win the game against Anadolu Efes.

game player



Shane Larkins









Yes, they had the head. Yeah, their three-guard offensive dynamic doesn’t look bad at times.

Yes, they fought until the last minute and lost a 3-point Kahudi to reduce the difference to 2 points. Yes, Marcos Knight recorded the first double-double of his EuroLeague career (21 points and 12 rebounds), just in the week he was granted a contract extension.

However, ASVEL was not that old. Decimated by injuries, clumsy and sometimes unlucky in crucial moments, with many turnovers when they did not have the luxury.

Once again, Efes made the trick behind Shane Larkin’s decisive effort. The Moscow conqueror led the team with 19 points, 8 assists and 4 steals.

“When Shane Larkin is healthy, he always shows what he is capable of,” Ergin Ataman said after the game. “He hasn’t stopped showing it over the last three years. Not only against CSKA, but also against the Fenerbahce game which we won away at the Ulker Sports Arena.”

“As for the game, we were very willing tonight which I liked. The attack is thankless while the defense gives you wins. Some nights you send 19 threes while others you miss open shots and make a lot of turnovers. There’s no guarantee you’ll deliver great accuracy,” Ataman added.

“Tonight we missed a lot apart from Shane Larkin and Krunoslav Simon. Still, our defense was very good in the 2nd half. Every player gave a good effort, say Larkin, Bryant Dunston or Chris Singleton.

This defensive effort is what I liked the most because it was so crucial to lead us to a victory,” continued the Efes head coach.

2 points this season

Also keep in mind that it is never easy to win consecutive matches regardless of the opponent. This high-intensity blockbuster CSKA game with a biting OT ending wore Efes down a bit, but ASVEL’s persistence was simply not enough.

“ASVEL were pretty good tonight, they never gave in. Especially Marcos Knight had a big night,” said opponent Ataman.

Of course we have fatigue issues, the players couldn’t put in much and so our overall effort goes down a bit. We can’t widen the gap to 30 points, as we often did last season,” he admitted.

Efes now occupy 8th place in the Euroleague standings with 12 wins in the bag. But they are part of the other 3 teams (Olympiacos, Monaco, Bayern) who have the same number of wins which means a very tight playoff race.

“It was an important week because they also won their games. We have 11 games left and we have a favorable schedule,” Ataman gave his assessment of the schedule.

“The Olympiacos game next week is going to be tough but they are the only team above us in the standings for the remaining matches. By making the most of this favorable situation, we would like to have the best possible standings for the playoffs,” he added. .

Ataman also spoke about his experience regarding the CSKA match where he couldn’t be on the bench due to his illness.

“I sometimes had to watch my teams from the stands but it was my first time watching my team on TV. I watched it with my son, Sarp and it was like a real fan vibe in a way. I was really relaxed during the game.

I believed in our staff, we always do our preparations together. Overall, the players won the game,” Ataman said.

“Maybe there was a silver lining about my technical double ejections in those two games. Our staff was much more experienced than the CSKA team,” he joked. Yakup (Sekizkok) did a good job and he also practiced those clutch cases as a head coach.”


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